Considering spending a year in Lyon? Need convincing? Read on…
- Its geographical location
Lyon’s great location allows you to travel to other great countries and cities easily. Geneva is only an hour away, you can visit Turin on a bus journey and the Alps are nearby. It’s two hours from Paris on a train. It boasts fantastic rail and transport links- qu’est-ce-que vous attendez? From the point of view of an Irish Erasmus student, Aer Lingus has direct flights from Dublin to Lyon all year. Utile.
- Its size- neither too big or too small
Having previously lived in the sprawling Paris I immediately appreciated the size of Lyon. Being France’s second biggest city, it’s hardly small- it’s estimated that it’s around the same size as Dublin. However, all areas of the city are reachable within a short length of time. I lived in the centre. However, I had friends who lived in the suburbs and still reached the main city centre from around ten minutes in the Metro or a thirty minute cycle.
- The relatively affordable prices of living
As I’ve mentioned in various posts, I absolutely love Paris but living there for a year wasn’t even an option financially- I know a friend who spent her year abroad there and paid €800 a month for her apartment. Lyon is significantly cheaper- I paid €450 for an apartment, all bills included. Transport prices are also really affordable- around €25 for a monthly pass that enables you to use the metro, tram and bus.
- It is a beautiful city
Lyon is the gastronomic capital of France. Unfortunately, I only really realised this after I left Lyon- my “gastronomic” experiences unfortunately only consisted of cheap pain au chocolats and the odd burger in an Irish bar. Oops. However, Lyon is home to France’s most celebrated chef- Paul Bocuse. Bocuse has four reasonably priced restaurants in the city centre and also has his own foodie hall (Les Halles de Lyon). Lyon also has a gorgeous old town, wonderful scenery, a beautiful basilica and two rivers. It’s a gorgeous place and is a relatively calm and relaxed city to live in. There are tons of different social activities to do- you’ll never get bored.
- Plenty of Irish People
Indeed, this could certainly be a bit of a disadvantage. It’s possible to slightly forget that the entire point of the year abroad is to embrace a new culture. There are a few Irish bars in Lyon- which is a great option to have if you’re feeling homesick or need to watch a GAA game. There’s even a GAA team that I emerged from my under 10s retirement from. Worth it.
Overall, I loved my year abroad in Lyon- it really was a fabulous experience. Don’t hesitate to ask me any questions if you’re considering spending a year in Lyon!